Five people were arrested including the factory owner Jitendra Paramath and four others who handled circulation of the drug across the country.
The Maharashtra Anti-terrorism squad probing the multi-crore-drug lobby of Mephedrone (Meow-Meow, MCat) has nabbed the key person behind the manufacturing of the banned narcotic drug at a factory in Panvel.
On September 10, the ATS officials acting on specific information busted the factory and seized 129 kg of pure Mephedrone worth Rs 56 crore in the international market.
ATS officer said, “A chemistry graduate, Doctor had improvised the technique of drug manufacturing. We launched a manhunt to nab the doctor whose real name is Sardar Patil, a native of Sangli district in Maharashtra. The accused was referred to as the Doctor in the cartel as he was considered one of the best sythesisers of the drug and knew how to manufacture Ketamine, Methamphetamine and also Mephedrone.”
He said, “He worked at a chemical factory named Omkar industries in Sangli till 2015. It is at this factory that the Doctor learned and mastered the skill of synthesising synthetic drugs like Ketamine, Meth and Meow Meow.”
The factory at which the Doctor worked till 2015, Omkar industries, was owned and run by Transport baron Ravindra Konduskar. Konduskar ran a fleet of buses across the state and was arrested by the DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) in 2015 following a Mephedrone seizure from a bus in Pune.
The seizure led to a raid at Omkar industries and another 355 kg of Mephedrone was seized by the DRI. Konduskar had reportedly employed some Iranian chemical synthesisers for synthesising the drug and it was from them, the Doctor learned the process of synthesising.
Two more suppliers of Mephedrone have been arrested by the ATS who handled the smuggling network for the cartel and another 4.9 kg of Mephedrone has been seized. The Doctor was arrested from his hometown in Sangli where he had been hiding since the drug bust and is presently in the ATS custody.
It is remarkable that drug smugglers are targeting students of various schools and colleges in the city. According to Mumbai police, at least 125 drug peddlers have been arrested under a special drive in the last eight months from western suburbs and contrabands worth more than Rs 4 crore have been seized from them. Many women were arrested by Bandra police for being part of the illegal drug ring. Gang of women peddlers, especially from Bandra, are found to be involved in the drug trade in a big way. These women used to supply drugs to areas like Andheri, Dongri, Jogeshwari, Borivali, and Nallasopara.
As per Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Manoj Kumar Sharma, drug suppliers used women, and in some cases even children as couriers. Senior police officials from Bandra to Oshiwara and the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to Powai have been directed to flush out peddlers. Police are concentrating on suburbs like Bandra, Oshiwara and Khar which are highly affected by the menace.